Will Tottenham's forgotten midfield hero Winks finally be missed v Croatia?


England were Sunday looking forward to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 as Russian fans thanked their disappointed players after their fairytale World Cup run was halted by Croatia.

Here is a look at the semi-finals and what to watch out for.

Croatia and England have met in five competitive games in the past with Croatia winning two and England three.

The Russians as hosts did not need to qualify for the World Cup and their ranking of 70 in the world was the lowest among all teams in Russia, even lower than worldwide football minnows Saudi Arabia.

That said, Suker, who helped Croatia reach the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup, has credited the Three Lions for their improvement this summer. Corners or free-kicks have led to seven goals for England in the tournament. Alexander Samedov, who said earlier he would no longer play for the national team, stressed he was proud to be member of the team. They're dealing with injuries to their starting right back, their goalkeeper and a handful of other players who could probably use a week in the ice bath.

In extra-time, Croatia went ahead when Domagoj Vida scored but Mario Fernandes brought Russian Federation level and took the game to penalties.

The incident occurred during the Round of 16 meeting last week at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium that saw Croatia advance on penalties against Denmark.

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And as players started to collect millions in salaries from their clubs, commitment to the national team was called into question. There was another against Sweden , with Maguire heading in a driven corner from Ashley Young in the 30th minute.

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In extra time, Subasic blocked and smothered Daler Kuziaev's attempt, which appeared to be a game-saver until Fernandes came unmarked on a free kick and his header to the far post couldn't be stopped in the 115th minute. "We have to pay attention to those details and hopefully we will do better with them than we did against Russian Federation".

"England have suffered less than us", Modric said. "We played in the quarter finals for the first time in our lives". "It's a semifinal. We will find extra motivation, extra everything, whatever is necessary".

Going up against Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will be a serious test for Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli.

Can England's midfield compete with Croatia's quality?

"Fans have the opportunity to purchase and offer their tickets for resale on FIFA.com/tickets until 15 July", a FIFA spokesperson said.

"We like to play against teams like England because we have fast players and it will be open", Vedran Corluka, the former Manchester City and Tottenham defender, said.

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents.